In their first return to pay-per-view since 2014, Bellator has pitted a headlining doozie that will be held in NYC’s Madison Square Garden at Bellator 180.
Longstanding rivals and MMA veterans Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will finally face off in a match many years in the making. The two fighters, who are in the twilight of their careers, will hope to draw fans for the promotion’s PPV return.
Sonnen and Silva has something of a long simmering feud, with the two coming to actual blows while coaching for the series The Ultimate Fighter. The first sanctioned fight against them was called off after Silva avoided taking a drug test and Sonnen tested positive for several banned substances.
This will be Bellator’s second pay-per-view appearance in its history, the first coming just before current CEO Scott Coker took over. It appears he will reserve using the PPV model in a way similar to the way professional boxing uses it, reserving it only for the most important and attention grabbing fights.
Coker appears optimistic about the future at Bellator, too:
“I think (Bellator 180) will be the most exciting fight card in MMA this year so far,” Coker said. “I mean, who knows what’s going to happen before the end of the year, but I think this is going to be the biggest fight card put together by any company so far in the pay-per-view business, and we feel really good about it.”
Always the little brother to the UFC, Bellator appears as though it is ready to begin asserting itself more in the world of MMA.
With several of the UFC stars wading in inactivity at the moment and with free agency seeming to trend in its favor, the time is now for Bellator to attempt to seize control of some of the PPV viewership.